What kind of Liberal arrogance makes a person forget that he and his Liberal caucus sat through the last parliament and not only allowed the Harper agenda to become a reality, but actually assisted it vote after vote? I love how Liberals act like what they do while they are in parliament is somehow less important what they say they want to do in parliament during an election.
But Dion is not getting away with it. No. Not on this blog. With very little digging I found this handy-dandy list of Liberal accomplishments in the last parliament (thank you ndp.ca):
Who's the real Harper-helper? Hmmm? (and who's the master of alliteration?)
Harper’s agenda: Kill NDP motion to ban cosmetic pesticides
Liberals helped by: Voting with Harper (16 May 2006)
Harper’s agenda: Extend the combat mission in Afghanistan from 2007 until 2009
Liberals helped by: Voting with Harper (17 May 2006)
Harper’s agenda: Permit replacement workers in federal workplaces
Liberals helped by: Voting with Harper (21 March 2007)
Harper’s agenda: Kill NDP motion for withdrawal from combat mission in Afghanistan
Liberals helped by: Voting with Harper. (30 April 2007)
Harper’s agenda: Kill NDP motion to restart study of electoral reform
Liberals helped by: Voting with Harper (2 May 2007)
Harper’s agenda: End Canada’s involvement in Kyoto
Liberals helped by: Abstaining (24 October 2007)
Harper’s agenda: Cut $5.3 billion a year from public services
Liberals helped by: Abstaining (31 October 2007)
Harper’s agenda: Stop a package to help the ailing manufacturing and forestry sector
Liberals helped by: Abstaining (14 November 2007)
Harper’s agenda: Put $50.5 billion in giveaways to profitable corporations ahead of child care, poverty alleviation and First Nations
Liberals helped by: Abstaining four times (4, 10 and 13 December 2007)
Harper’s agenda: Reinstate "security certificates" opposed by human rights advocates
Liberals helped by: Voting with Harper (6 February 2008)
Harper’s agenda: Link passage of crime bills to confidence in the government
Liberals helped by: Abstained (12 February 2008)
Harper’s agenda: Get his third budget passed. A budget that doesn't offer a cent for child care or skyrocketing drug costs, but steals $55 billion in surplus employee contributions to the Employment Insurance fund.
Liberals helped by: Ordering all but 10 MPs to abstain from the vote (4 March 2008)
Harper’s agenda: Stay in power by defeating a NDP non-confidence motion criticizing the Conservatives for rejecting an all-party bill that environmental groups called the "breakthrough bill" to tackle climate change.
Liberals helped by: Abstaining (10 March 2008)
Harper’s agenda: Extend Canada’s military role in Afghanistan until 2011
Liberals helped by: Negotiating an extention to the mission and then voting with Harper on it (13 March 2008)
Harper’s agenda: Kill a Liberal bill to give a $5,000 tax deduction to parents who save for their children's education.
Liberals helped by: Abstaining from the vote (13 March 2008)
Harper’s agenda: Stay in power by defeating a NDP non-confidence motion against the decision to give a massive $50.5 billion tax break to profitable corporations while ordinary people pay a greater share of taxes.
Liberals helped by: Voting with Harper (2 April 2008)
Harper’s agenda: Defeat an NDP motion to stop changes to the Immigration Act giving the minister authority to treat immigration applicants unfairly.
Liberals helped by: Voting with Harper (9 April 2008)
Harper’s agenda: Pass S-203, a weak animal cruelty law that critics say will let animal abusers walk free.
Liberals helped by: Voting with Harper (9 April 2008)
Liberals have been whining since they lost in 2006 about all the things Paul Martin could have done had he just had more time in government. In fact, the Liberals I know have been insufferable with that line to the point that I wonder if they have all been centrally programmed to deliver the Liberal messaging anytime anyone mentions the NDP or Jack Layton. Anyways, the point is that Paul Martin had control over this country's finances for more than a decade and failed to deliver on his promises parliament after parliament. Jack stood up to the Liberals and told it like it was in the 2006 election. He didn't tell people to vote Conservative. The Liberals and their history of corruption and inaction sent their voters running all on their own.
The least the Liberals could have done was suck it up after they lost and tried to do their job as Official Opposition. Instead they let Harper walk all over them while the NDP was left, often on their own, standing up to the Conservatives on the issues that Liberals are supposed to care about.
Now that its vote-getting time, Dion is talking about the need for people to unite against Harper. Liberals still seem to think that scaring progressive Canadians into holding their nose and voting Liberal is a sure-fire way to get more Liberal votes. Even after they tried it and had only marginal success in 2006. Maybe it will work for them. But the polls don't show it working all that well. Probably because many progressive Canadians are tired of just being "anti-Harper." We want to vote for something.
Besides, people are figuring out that strategically voting for the Liberals is the best way to elect Conservatives in many ridings. And as the voters of Vancouver-Kingsway found out the hard way, even if you do elect a Liberal in your riding, you really can't be sure of what you are getting.